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Paris Restaurant Review

Local Favorite Chez Georges Features Lively Atmosphere, Authentic French Cuisine

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When you stay in Paris for a short while, eating out at a decent, reasonably-priced restaurant may become a silly game of trial and error. In this new series of articles, I will recommend several Paris restaurants no traveler will never regret having tried out!

Facing the eating-out issue

When it comes eating out at Paris restaurants, travelers unfamiliar with the city may have a hard time finding the right place. Consider it this way: you are to live, breathe and eat for a short while in a city which counts over 1,500 restaurants, in a country internationally known for its exquisite food. Where do you start? And what guarantee do you have to hit the right spots for lunch and dinner?

A large number of my American friends select to follow their favorite travel guide’s recommendations. Good thinking. But there’s a downside to it: travelers tend use the same travel guides. And too many tourists kill authenticity.

The so-called ‘French cuisine’

Being born and having lived in France for 30 some years before I found my true home in America, I have an in-bred tendency to be extremely picky when it comes to food. When I travel back to Paris, I especially dislike being served so-so cuisine at over-inflated prices.

By the same token I find it very hard to accept that any of my American friends touring Paris be served run-of-the-mill food posing as "French cuisine." Hence this new series of articles.

In the course of several recent trips to the French capital, I was introduced by local friends to a few restaurants I found to be absolutely noteworthy. My first stop will be Chez Georges.

The set

Chez Georges stands out tall amongst my recent discoveries.

I had received an invitation for lunch from Philippe H., an attorney-at-law who specializes in brokering deals in record time. Philippe has been lunching at Chez Georges for the last 20 years or so, he is a fixture of the place.

He even has his own table there. A very practical state of affairs, mind you, as Chez Georges always operates at full capacity, and one needs to book at least 48 hours in advance to get a table.

The decor is typical French 1920-30, with a mosaic floor, large mirrors on the walls, dark brown wood panels, and sandish paint. The restaurant is divided into two rooms, both very narrow.

The first room features a bar and a row of small square tables. Being close to the door and window panes, it is well lit. The room in the back is larger, with two rows of tables. It’s also darker, without any windows. The (small) kitchen is situated at the back of this room, and the restrooms another step behind.

The place is obviously packed, and very busy. It smells of good food and, though guests are allowed to smoke, I didn’t find cigarette smoke to be an issue. The whole atmosphere is congenial, vibrant and lively. No elevator music to bother you, but your neighbors’ voices may cover yours. Very Parisian, no doubt, but I saw several American folks having lunch there.

Click "next" to read about Chez Georges' service, appetizers, main course and delectable dessert.

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